Shiny Silver Things

Don’t be fooled; not all shiny silver things are valuable even when bought or sold, collected or inherited. Silver objects are sadly often placed behind locked glass and handled with cotton gloves. I prefer things to be used, to get dirty and dented – you can always knock those dents out.

Silver is the most versatile of materials, from its multiple shades of grey to its relationship with foods like salt and sugar. There’s always more to discover.

BERMONDSEY
BEAUTY

Until 1995, London’s infamous Bermondsey market was known as an ‘open market’ where you could sell stolen silver between the hours of sunset and sunrise. For this piece, I removed a single foot from a ‘stolen’ silver tray. This was replicated, stacked up and soldered into a very posh four-tiered cake form. The trick to the piece is that when inverted, it becomes a ‘bucket’ taking you from the high table back to the gutter.

 

 

Bermondsey Beauty
Material   Sterling Silver
Dimensions   26 x26 x 30cm
Year   2005
Location Private Collection UK

Image of a 4 tiered wedding cake made from cast highly ornate tray legs. The silver is white cooked resembling royal icing

DOA
DEAD ON ARRIVAL

 

A tea service not standing, but at rest and laying down, housed in its presentation box or ‘coffin’. The lead had been used to ‘finish off’ these redundant pieces. Continuously polished for years but never used, they are intended to show material wealth. This piece is designed to remind us that death comes to us all and demonstrates how the power of objects can support us in talking about difficult subjects with more ease.

 

DOA ( Dead On Arrival)
Material   Sterling Silver, Lead
Dimensions   40 x 40 x 50cm
Year   2012
Location   Public Collection Röhsska Museum Sweden

Image of an old silver tea service housed in a wooden presentation bax. The silver has beenattacked with lead that eats silver
Image of 3 treasure boxes on stands. Using old candlesticks as bases, cutlery handles added as fringes that move. Old sugar bowl included and each given crazy lids that are historically dull and boring.

STASH

This collection is all about excess, abundance and opulence and is a direct counterpoint to years of austerity followed by Covid-19. Here many silver bowls have exchanged their dull lids, replaced by crowns, exaggerated and at times extreme, a different expression for the dining table. Hidden within are secret compartments perfect for stashing sweets and other treats, all to tempt your guests.

Stash
Material   Pewter, Silver Plate, Steel
Dimensions   30 x 18 x 18cm
Year   2020
Location   Private Collection UK
Available

SWEETHEART

Image of a solid silver heart shaped bonboniere dish made sweeter by growing sugar crystals around and through the edge of the piece

Sugar, like salt, is a preservative and was traditionally used to maintain fruits so they would last through the winter months. Taking this idea and adding an ironic twist, I’ve used the most sentimental symbol, the love heart and conserved this solid silver version in sugar. Besides its sweetness, it protects and also evokes the nostalgic feelings many have for historical silver.

Sweetheart
Material   Sterling Silver, Sugar (by Natalie Smith)
Dimensions   9 x 9 x 3cm
Year   2014
Location   Private Collection USA

TERRA GRAVY DAKTAL

 

Humour in life is essential. To laugh is good for the heart and soul. Often things can get too heavy, or we try to be too profound. Here you have a collision of a few spouts that become sturdy legs, hoisting up the beast mid-stride, and there you have it – a prehistoric monster roaming across your table.

 

Terra Gravy Daktal
Material   Silver Plate
Dimensions   20 x 10 x 20cm
Year   2009
Location   Private Collection Switzerland

Image of a gravy boat with 3 spouts added for legs to create a monster for the table